The singularity approaches

One important fundamental difference in value between a diamond ring and an armful of kindling is man-hours, one takes a lot more to make than the other. But it’s conceivable, one day, with sufficient advances in hardware and software, that man-hours will be rendered moot. Which would mean money as we know would cease to matter and that sounds great to those of who don’t have much. But there could necessarily be a phase along the way that might not be so appealing: [Read more...]

Seeing the future the way it is meant to be seen

You walk down an ordinary drab aisle in a supermarket, but you see grocery items stand up and dance a jig, below them are prices, special offers, and nutrition profiles. In the corner of your eye a counter keeps track of the total bill for items already chosen, taxes included, and flashes red when it reaches a predetermined value.  A neighbor speaks to you in Mandarin, but text scrolls past your field of vision, maybe a tiny speaker whispers the english translation in your ear. Oh, and if the power goes out, no matter. You can see in the dark.

This may sound like the future, but if Google’s new project succeeds, the future starts now. [Read more...]

Whatever happened to Sw33tBabyJ4ne?

At the risk of sounding ancient, something is going on with kids today, and I don’t mean that to sound like a middle age snarl. In fact I think today’s kids are better than we were. By better, we’re talking quicker, more mature, less naive, better informed, more confident; smarter. So this poll on the most important group in that demographic in 2012, the ones old enough to vote, was fascinating: [Read more...]

What will be the next big growth industry?

I don’t know, but it will happen sooner or later, count on it. The 80s were the PC, the 90s extended that to the Internet. What technology might explode with innovation in the decades ahead? Maybe computers will keep on groov’n, artificial intelligence or voice rec. Given the state of large oil and gas reservoirs, it could well be solar energy, thin films, applied like paint out of a can, or fusion, or maybe some source completely out of left field. Then again regenerative medicine looks hopeful, new organs, new eyes, substantial increase in life expectancy beyond the cruel natural limits imposed by nature. But I’ll take a guess for the next big thing, below the fold. [Read more...]

Bacterial super computers

More evidence the Singularity is nigh! Mere bacteria being given super human processing Rain Man-esque power:

Scientists have taken another step towards biological computing, with the creation of logic gates from gut bacteria and DNA.While something similar’s been done before, the team says its logic gates behave more like the standard electronic version.

All microprocessors do is add. That’s it. Your entire computer works on the back of what is basically an electronic abacus. Which is why questions about sentience and all that are so fascinating when applied to digital computers. So I wouldn’t worry too much about computerized bacterial colonies taking over the world just yet. I would instead keep worrying about the oxygen-burning bacterial collectives already here, specifically, the bipedal metazoan ones with giant bulbs of nerve tissue at the top.